Leading Campaign Style, Force Policy in Congress

Editor’s Note – Obama is the first President ever to lead this nation campaign style. Yes, he operated from that perspective in his first term to get re-elected, now its being applied for a different reason. Now he and his supporters are using their machine to force policy as well. “Leading from behind” is now “leading from the grass roots”.

The first evidence of this comes from the proven liar of his campaign, Stephanie Cutter.

Stephanie Cutter during the campaign on the Sunday morning talking heads shows.

Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress

BY MICAH L. SIFRY – Tech President

The Obama political operation took a big step today, sending out an email to its millions of supporters asking them to call Members of the House of Representatives to pass a Senate-approved bill aimed at preventing the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the bottom 98% of U.S. taxpayers. In some cases, recipients are being asked to call their own Member; in others, where their Member is already in favor of the Senate bill, Obama activists are being asked to call Obama supporters whose representatives may be a swing vote. In case there’s any doubt, these emails are aimed at putting heat directly on Republican House members.

“We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together,” says the email from Stephanie Cutter, the 2012 deputy campaign manager. “So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents.”

This email represents a critical shift in Obama’s political strategy. Paid for by the Obama Victory Fund 2012, it is not aimed at re-electing the President–the ostensible purpose of that campaign entity–but at moving his legislative agenda. It is the President using his army to go directly in the face of Members of Congress who are perceived to stand in his way. Apparently, OFA’s lawyers have decided that they can use their email list in this manner, after some earlier doubts. (It’s not clear that this crosses any lines; for example, John Kerry continued to use his 2004 campaign email list to advance his political agenda for years after losing his run for the White House.)

Here’s the full text of the email, which is titled “Help the president by picking up the phone.”

Who will decide if your taxes increase in just 22 days? A few dozen members of the House of Representatives, that’s who.

Cutting taxes for the middle class shouldn’t be difficult, especially when Republicans claim they agree with the President on the issue. But some Republicans are still holding middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they want to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires.

Here’s what’s going on right now: President Obama is asking Congress to move forward on a plan that would prevent 98 percent of American families from paying higher taxes next year. The Senate has passed that bill, and the President is ready to sign it — but the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives won’t even bring the bill to the floor for a vote. House Democrats have filed a petition that would force a vote if it attracts 218 signatures.

If a bill has enough votes to pass, Congress should vote on it and pass it. It’s a pretty simple proposition. And every Member of Congress who hasn’t signed on to keep taxes low for the middle class needs to hear from you.

Your representative in Congress, [deleted], has already done their part to help bring the bill to the floor. But there are dozens more who still need to step up and do the right thing.

Use the call tool today to reach out to fellow Obama supporters and make sure they contact their Republican representative.

Let’s get one thing straight: If your taxes go up, Republicans will have made a conscious choice to let that happen. They’ll have missed the opportunity to prevent it, just to cut taxes for the wealthy.

Republicans need to stop using the middle class as a bargaining chip. If they fail to act, a typical middle-class family of four will see a $2,200 tax hike starting in a few short weeks. Middle-class families could face some tough financial decisions simply because Republicans didn’t want to ask the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay their fair share.

That’s not what President Obama and you campaigned on, and that’s not what millions of Americans voted for just one month ago.

We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together. So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents. You can help:

http://my.barackobama.com/Call-Tool

Thanks,

Stephanie

Stephanie Cutter
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Alleged 9-11 Benghazi Ringleader Captured

Editor’s Note – It is being reported that Egyptian authorities have detained the alleged ringleader of an Egyptian terrorist network.  These are alleged to be members who are suspected of participating in the 9-11 attack on the U.S. consular compound in Benghazi Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Stephens and three other Americans.

American Intelligence Assets Used To Capture Alleged Ringleader Of Benghazi Attack In Egypt

by Anjali Sareen – Mediaite

Aided by U.S. intelligence, Egyptian authorities have captured the alleged leader of a terrorist network suspected of participating in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four Americans.

According to Fox NewsMuhammed Jamal Abu Ahmad was detained this past week and is considered by counterterrorism officials to be “one of the most menacing operatives to emerge in the region in the wake of the Arab Spring.”

Further details of his capture have not yet been released.

Authorities believe Ahmad was in the midst of launching a “new wing” of Al Qaeda. He was arrested last year in Egypt, as well, but was released after the end of the reign of President Hosni Mubarak.

Since his release, Ahmad has been attempting to create a new terrorist network with camps in both Libya and Egypt, called the Jamal Network. Financing to his operation came from an Al Qaeda branch in Yemen. U.S. officials have been searching for Ahmad for several months.

U.S. officials believe the help of the Egyptian government shows a “willingness” to pursue Al Qaeda-associated terrorists Seth Jones, an al Qaeda specialist with think tank Rand Corp, calls Ahmad’s capture “strategically important” to America, because his terrorist network was growing beyond Egypt and into North Africa. Egyptian officials also arrested five suspects in October believed to be connected to Benghazi, but American government officials say this can’t be confirmed.

Watch the report from Fox News below:

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FEMA Failure – Abject Failure

Editor’s Note – Could FEMA be described any more precisely now than  it is a ‘four-letter word’ that starts with “F”? Ask the folks in Staten Island. There is just no excuse for such ineptitude, and is one concrete example that the Federal Government is not good at running anything, let a lone a nation’s health care – but that is what America effectively voted for – be careful of what you ask for, you might get it. “Big Sis” Napolitano should be fired summarily!

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Angry New Yorkers say Obama pledge to cut red tape ignored by FEMA

By Perry Chiaramonte – Fox News

Storm-ravaged New Yorkers say President Obama’s promise to cut red tape and get them aid in the aftermath of Sandy has proven to be hot air.

Angry citizens vented at FEMA officials at a town hall meeting held by the disaster relief agency Thursday, with tempers boiling over. Some 1,000 people, many left homeless by the Oct. 29 storm, attended the meeting at Staten Island’s New Dorp High School. They were initially scheduled to submit written questions that would be picked and answered at random, but the session turned into an angry shouting match where residents booed FEMA officials and accused them of lying.

“We are the people – we are the middle class, and we are getting the finger,” said frustrated resident Scott McGrath, who personally spoke to President Obama and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo when they came to Staten Island to inspect storm damage earlier this month. “You were there when I met Obama, and I told the president … that the middle class was getting the royal finger. And he said, ‘FEMA works for me.’”

“FEMA ain’t doing nothing,” McGrath added. “They keep going around in circles.”

The storm made landfall on the coast of southern New Jersey and traveled north, leaving a swath of death, destruction and darkness. Some 125 people were killed, including 48 in New York. It’s been estimated that half of the city’s deaths occurred in Staten Island. Millions were left without power for weeks by the storm, which also caused widespread gasoline shortages.

Obama addressed the nation from FEMA headquarters in Washington on Nov. 3, promising to cut red tape and bring the full force of FEMA to hard-hit residents.

“What I told the governors and the mayors is what I’ve been saying to my team since the start of this event, and that is we don’t have any patience for bureaucracy, we don’t have any patience for red tape, and we want to make sure that we are figuring out a way to get to yes, as opposed to no, when it comes to these problems,” Obama said.

On Nov. 15, Obama came to Staten Island, where he repeated his pledge.

A top FEMA official said agency workers understand the public’s frustration, but he defended their performance in the wake of the storm.

“We have already put $700 million directly in the hands of victims,” Michael Bryne, federal coordinating officer for FEMA told FoxNews.com. “In my opinion, I think that reflects a minimum of red tape.

“In the days after, we surveyed the damage from helicopter and for every home we found completely damaged, we immediately sent a couple months’ of rent assistance before we even had inspectors on the ground,” he added. 

Byrne said more help his on the way, adding that the agency has 3,000 families enrolled in its shelter program and is working with the city on providing a rapid repair program to help get people back in their homes while longer-term repairs are completed.

Thursday’s meeting was organized by Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, many of whose constituents have been left without homes, food or clothing. The auditorium was so crowded that many people were turned away at the door. FEMA officials dutifully absorbed the gripes, took down contact information and promised to meet privately with homeowners.

But residents showed little confidence that the agency would help, and they said they’ve been left to fend for themselves.

“Our communities are helping,” said Nicole Chati, to cheers from the audience. “Red Cross comes by, rings our bell, says, ‘Come get a hot meal’ and leaves. We help each other and that’s what we want to do, but we need your support.

“These people are frustrated,” she added. “Lives were lost. My house … I can rebuild my house. My neighbor is dead.”

Aiman Youssef, who has been living in a tent since the storm hit, said he is worried about health risks.

“The air quality in this town is very bad,” he said. “We are sick. What can you do about it?”

Morsi’s Maneuver in Egypt

Editor’s Note – The author of the following article Andrew C. McCarthy, is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the executive director of the Philadelphia Freedom Center. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, which was published by Encounter Books.

He is also a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. A Republican, he is most notable for leading the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks.[1] He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He resigned from the Justice Department in 2003.

He has used the West’s democracy fetish to put a gun to his population’s head.

By Andrew C. McCarthy – NRO

Phase II of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s declaration of sweeping dictatorial powers was completed on Thursday night. That is when the “constituent assembly” hastily completed a draft constitution that would enshrine sharia principles as fundamental law.

Morsi grabbed the reins with a shrewd caveat: His dictatorship would end once the draft constitution was approved by Egyptians in a national referendum — which is to say, once the dictatorship had served its purpose. Nearly three months ago, in my e-book Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy (which is about to be published in paperback), I explained that Morsi’s agglomeration of power — which was already underway only weeks after his election — was just a placeholder. He is an Islamic-supremacist hardliner whose ultimate goal has always been to impose sharia, the real dictatorship.

Remember the Brotherhood’s notorious motto, which includes the proclamation “the Koran is our law.” It is about to be. In effect, Morsi has used the West’s democracy fetish to put a gun to his population’s head: Either democratically approve anti-democratic sharia or accept the sharia-compliant rule of your democratically elected Islamist despot. Some choice.

Naturally, secularists and religious minorities are grousing. This has the Western media, once again, in full spring-fever flush. For our intelligentsia, the Middle East is a wonderland where Islamists are imagined to be “moderate” (even “largely secular”!) and — to hedge their bets, on the off chance that the Islamists turn out to be, well, Islamists — the population is imagined to be teeming with freedom-loving Jamal al-Madisons who crave American-style civil rights. In reality, supremacist Islam is the predominant ideology of the region. The Muslim Brotherhood is strong because it is the avant-garde of the Islamic masses. Non-Islamist democrats are a decided minority.

Of course, in a place like Egypt, with its population of 80 million people, a decided minority can easily be masqueraded as the majority. The West’s progressive media is good at that — ignoring tea-party throngs while lavishing coverage on five-person Occupy protests as if they were a groundswell. But, you see, the hocus-pocus works here only because we’ve ceded all the leading institutions of opinion to progressives for a half-century. Conditioned to see what they’ve been told to believe, half of our population no longer sees through the smoke and mirrors.

In contrast, the Islamists control and otherwise intimidate Egyptian society’s influential institutions by vigorously enforcing sharia’s repression of discussion and dissent. The public knows the tune is called by the likes of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s powerhouse jurist, not by Wael Ghonim and the young, tech-savvy progressives beloved of the New York Times. In Egypt, the conspiracy theories run against the progressives. The public won’t be snookered into seeing an Islamist uprising as a “democratic” upheaval. They’ll leave that to us.

The Times and the Brotherhood-smitten Obama administration won’t tell you, but Spring Fever will: The constitution was always the prize. That is why the Brothers pursued it with their signature mendacity. The story goes back to the weeks immediately after Mubarak’s fall in early 2011 — back to the most tellingly underreported and willfully misreported event in the “Arab Spring” saga: Egypt’s first-ever free election.

With the trillion-plus dollars U.S. taxpayers have expended to promote “Islamic democracy” and its companion fantasy that elections equal democracy, you’d think you might have heard a bit more about the maiden voyage in Arabia’s most important country. But no, the story barely registered. That is because the Islamists crushed the secular democrats. To grasp what happened on Thursday night, you need to understand why. That first election, zealously contested in sectarian terms, was precisely about Egypt’s future constitution.

Technically, the referendum concerned amendments to the constitution in effect during Mubarak’s reign. Despite the “Arab Spring” paeans you were hearing from Washington, Egyptian democrats knew they were weak. To have any hope of competing with the Brotherhood’s vast, long-established, highly disciplined organization, they would need time. So they argued that before parliamentary and presidential elections could take place, a new constitution should be written. That would take a while and would put voting off into the distant future. The idea was that as long as no one had been elected yet — as long as the Islamists could not claim a popular mandate — the democrats would be in a better position both to influence the content of the constitution and to buy the time necessary to build party organizations that might contest elections effectively.

The Brothers are no fools. They realized that rapidly held elections would favor them, and if they won big, they’d have a hammerlock on the constituent assembly that would write the constitution. They also grasped the disdain in which the West, under progressive regimes, holds military governments. They’d watched how their Islamist ally, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had leveraged American and European pressure to beat down his military — the pro-Western opposition to his anti-Western Islamic supremacism. The Brotherhood knew the U.S. and the EU would be similarly — and self-destructively — supportive of a call for quick elections that would pressure Egypt’s reigning military junta to cede authority to a “democratic” civilian government.

Consequently, the Brothers insisted that parliamentary and presidential elections could proceed promptly if the public just approved a handful of amendments to the current constitution, with a new constitution to be drafted afterwards.

As is its wont, the Brotherhood was deceitful about its intentions. To arm their Western apologists and assuage those Egyptians who might think a new government’s constitution should be in place before the new government is elected, the Brothers swore up and down that they understood constitutions are different from ordinary legislation. To be legitimate, they soothingly agreed, a nation’s fundamental law must reflect a consensus of the whole society — guaranteeing the rights of women and religious minorities. Beyond that, though, the Islamist campaign over the referendum portrayed secular democratic opponents of the amendments as “enemies of Islam” and “enemies of the revolution” who secretly supported the old regime and its Zionist allies.

When the votes were counted, it was a rout. The Brotherhood’s amendments were adopted by a margin of 78 to 22 percent. With the handwriting on the wall that the referendum would blow the cheery “Arab Spring” narrative to smithereens, the Western media ignored it. Once the numbers were in, they dismissed it. The historic vote, we were told, was just a hyper-technical matter to determine when elections would be scheduled — move along, nothing else to see here. But in fact, the amendments referendum foreshadowed today’s Islamist Winter. It exactly tracked the nearly four-to-one margin by which the Brotherhood and its Salafist allies would swamp the secular democrats in the parliamentary elections that followed.

The Brothers being the Brothers, they lied at each stage of the game. In the amendments referendum, they lied about their commitment to societal “consensus”; upon winning, they elbowed the democrats aside and infused the draft constitution with sharia principles. When they got their quick elections, they lied about how many seats they would seek in parliament, again to assuage those worried about Islamist control of the government. In going back on that commitment, they promised that they would not field a candidate for president. But once overwhelming control of parliament was secured, they reneged on that promise, too — announcing the candidacy of their charismatic leader, Khairat al-Shater.

Mind you, all of that happened before you ever heard of Mohamed Morsi. He is an afterthought: the Plan B the Brothers came up with when Shater — Morsi’s mentor and patron — was elbowed out of the race in the panicked military junta’s last gasp. While Morsi basks in the spotlight, you should know that Shater is the power behind the throne because he is the avatar of sharia. He is the author of the Brotherhood’s announced “Islamic Renaissance” plan, which the Western media continue to ignore. As Spring Fever recounts, however, here is how Shater proclaimed the Brotherhood’s objective in April 2011, right after the Islamist victory in the amendments referendum:

You all know that our main and overall mission as Muslim Brothers is to empower God’s religion on earth, to organize our life and the lives of the people on the basis of Islam, to establish the Nahda [i.e., the Renaissance] of the ummah [i.e., the notional global Muslim nation] and its civilization on the basis of Islam, and to subjugate people to God on earth.

Morsi accidentally happened into notoriety because he is a true believer and a faithful Shater servant. In fact, before Shater was excluded from presidential contention, Morsi was a constant presence at his side, introduced at rallies as an “architect” of Shater’s “Renaissance” plan. His principal task as president has been to get a new sharia constitution across the finish line.

That is why he claimed dictatorial powers last week: not to aggrandize himself further but to shield the constituent assembly from being de-commissioned by judges. Unlike Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for a decade, Morsi has not yet been in power long enough to change the complexion of Egypt’s judiciary. It is still filled with Mubarak-era appointees and, to the extent the minority secular democrats have any toehold in Egypt, it is in the courts. So Morsi issued his “sovereign” decree, denying the judiciary any power to invalidate the draft constitution, as the non-Islamists have petitioned it to do. That means the draft constitution will be submitted to the public for an up-or-down vote.

Consistent with the Arab Spring fable to which they continue clinging, Western commentators are enthralled by the new round of Tahrir Square protests against Morsi’s power grab. But they are a pale imitation of the anti-Mubarak uprising, because the Islamists now side with the dictator. They are the zealots who gave the original Tahrir protests their fearsome edge. Morsi is not backing down, because he is doing what he was put there to do and he has little to fear. He has already faced down the remnants of Mubarak’s armed forces and replaced them with Brotherhood loyalists — a ragtag collection of Facebook malcontents does not faze him. He also knows the national referendum on the new constitution will go the same way as the original referendum on constitutional amendments: Sharia will win going away.

Deep down, the Western media know it too. Desperate to preserve its narrative about moderate, modernizing Islamists, Reuters was quick to suggest that the Brotherhood-dominated constituent assembly had not really Islamized the new constitution. Sure, it provides that “principles of sharia” are the main source of legislation, but that, the report crowed, is the same thing the Mubarak-era constitution said — the Islamists did not alter it. You are supposed to conclude from this that “principles of sharia” are not as repressive as plain old “sharia” (the formulation preferred by Salafists) would have been.

Yet, the new constitution actually goes much farther. Not only does it add provisions that make clear “principles of sharia” means “sharia”; it also installs the scholars of al-Azhar University as official expert consultants on all sharia-related matters — a longtime Morsi goal. Egypt thus becomes the Sunni version of Iran’s totalitarian regime, in which Shiite mullahs exercise ultimate authority.

And how exactly is sharia interpreted by the scholars of al-Azhar, whose alumni include such jihadist eminences as Sheikh Qaradawi and the Blind Sheikh? Not to wear you out with Spring Fever, but as it outlines (with citations to the Azhar-approved, Brotherhood-certified sharia manual, Reliance of the Traveller), they interpret it to call for: death to apostates from Islam; “charitable” contributions to those fighting jihad (expressly defined as “war against non-Muslims”); discrimination against women; discrimination against non-Muslims; death to homosexuals; death to those who spy against Muslims; death by stoning for adulterers; and so on.

It is going to be a long, cold spring.

Jerusalem – ‘Eternal Capital of Palestine’ says Abbas

Editor’s Note – In a continued ploy to find ways to exert force on Israel, the UN upgraded the Palestinian Authority over the West Bank and Gaza when the PA acted unilaterally. This likely sets any peace agreement back and elevates the PA to use international pressure as it gains standing with international agencies. Again, its not about land or peace but the goal of eliminating Israel altogether.

To understand more precisely, Mahmoud Abbas declared that Jerusalem is its “Eternal Capital” – how’s that for a peace overture?

PA's Mahmoud Abbas at the UN

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday endorsed an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.

The resolution elevates their status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state,” the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.

Its leaders had been working with dozens of supporting nations to develop a formal draft, enlisting the backing of European countries such as France and Spain. The vote was 138 delegates in favor of the measure, nine against and 41 abstentions, including Germany. (Read the rest at CNN.)

From Aljazeera, the response by the people in Gaza and the West Bank:

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have celebrated the UN General Assembly vote accepting Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations in New York. Nine countries voted against the Palestine upgrade, which was approved by the General Assembly with 138 votes on Thursday. Fourty-one countries abstained.

Voting “no” were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The mood overnight on the streets of Ramallah was jubilant, but not all Palestinians believe that UN recognition will change anything on the ground.

Watch videos of the response in Ramallah and Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel responds with sanctions:

Israel is retaliating for Thursday’s United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, announcing it will withhold $120 million in taxes and customs collected for the Palestinian Authority to pay debts to Israeli companies.

In a unanimous resolution passed Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet said it would not negotiate on the basis of the General Assembly’s recognition of a state of Palestine in the occupied West Bank,  East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

“The unilateral step taken by the Palestinians at the United Nations violates peace agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, justifying Israel’s rejection of the U.N. vote. The only way to Palestinian statehood and peace is through direct negotiations with Israel, he said.

Abbas ‘Victory Speech’: Jerusalem ‘Eternal Capital of Palestine’

PA Chairman promises that someday the PA flag will fly over “Jerusalem, eternal capital of the state of Palestine.”

By Chana Ya’ar – Arutz Sheva

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Sunday promised someday the PAflag would fly over “Jerusalem, eternalcapital of the state of Palestine.”

Thousands of people greeted Abbas rapturously upon his return from the United Nations, where the GeneralAssembly granted the PLO, representing the PA, upgraded status as a nonmember observer state.

“Raise your heads high, because you are Palestinians!” Abbas told the joyous crowd, waving PA flags in the PA capital of Ramallah, located in Samaria.

“You have proof that you are stronger than the occupation, because you are Palestinians… stronger than the settlements, because you are Palestinians.

“We were threatened with punishment and sanctions from various sides,” Abbas continued, in a reference to attempts by the United States and Israel to dissuade him from proceeding with the application.

“And if we had listened to those threats we wouldn’t have gone to the U.N.

“One day, a young Palestinian will raise the Palestinian flag over Jerusalem,” he vowed, “the eternal capital of the state of Palestine!”